HYDERABAD: Nineteen workers from Telangana, who wanted to make use of theamnesty scheme in Saudi Arabia and return to India, suffered a jolt with their kafils (employers) declaring them ‘matloob’ or wanted. This has been happening not just with workers from the Telugu states, but also those from other parts of India.
The 19 workers from Nizamabad, Medak, Karimnagar, Adilabad, Sircilla and Jagtial districts now face the prospect of having to suffer at the hands of their kafils or being sent to jail. When a kafil declares a worker as ‘matloob’ this information shows up on the online system and he is not allowed to leave Saudi Arabia. The kafil does not even have to mention the reason why he is declaring the worker as wanted. What is normally understood in such cases is that the worker probably was trying to escape from the kafil due to torture or harassment.
“We are stuck in Saudi. We are facing exit issues because of kafils declaring us as ‘matloob’. Please help us to come out of Saudi,” said Dasari Madhusudhan of Chilvakodur village of Gollapalli mandal in Jagtial, bringing the issue to the notice of Telangana’s NRI affairs minister K T Rama Rao. In Madhusudhan’s case, the kafil has been demanding that he come back and work and slapped a theft case against him.
The workers are anxious because by June 25 they have to complete the process to leave the country. The three-month amnesty announced ends on June 30. During this period, all workers who have been overstaying or illegally working have been asked to leave. If the amnesty is availed, workers can go back to work in Saudi Arabia, if they want to by following due employment procedures.
Saudi Arabia had announced the amnesty to make the country a ‘nation free of violators’. But, with kafils having the privilege to list their workers as ‘matloob’, it becomes impossible for the worker to leave the country.